|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:1-5 Eliphaz here calls upon Job to answer his arguments. Were any of the saints or servants of God visited with such Divine judgments as Job, or did they ever behave like him under their sufferings? The term, saints, holy, or more strictly, consecrated ones, seems in all ages to have been applied to the people of God, through the Sacrifice slain in the covenant of their reconciliation. Eliphaz doubts not that the sin of sinners directly tends to their ruin. They kill themselves by some lust or other; therefore, no doubt, Job has done some foolish thing, by which he has brought himself into this condition. The allusion was plain to Job's former prosperity; but there was no evidence of Job's wickedness, and the application to him was unfair and severe.
Verse 3. - I have seen the foolish taking root. The "I" is emphatic. "I myself have seen," etc. What Eliphaz had seen was that folly, i.e. sinful infatuation, was always punished. It might seem to prosper: the foolish man might seem to be taking root; but Eliphaz was not deceived by appearances - he saw through them, he knew that there was a curse upon the man's house, and so pronounced it accursed. And the ruin which he had foreseen, it is implied, followed. But suddenly; rather, immediately, without hesitation. I cursed his habitation; i.e. "pronounced it accursed, declared that the curse of God rested upon it?"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have seen the foolish taking root,.... Such foolish wicked men as before described; those Eliphaz had observed to prosper in the world, and increase in riches, and even to have attained to a seeming stability and firmness, as if they would ever continue in such happy circumstances, see Jeremiah 12:2; by this he would obviate an objection that here might be raised and made against the assertion he was proving, that wicked men are afflicted and punished of God for their sins; whereas it is notorious that they are not in trouble as other men, but in very prosperous and flourishing circumstances; this he grants is their case for a while, as he had observed, but in a short time they pass away, they and their substance disappear, and are no more seen, as follows:
but suddenly I cursed his habitation; not that he wished ill to him, or imprecated evils upon him; for cursing and bitterness only fit the mouths of wicked men, and not good men, among whom Eliphaz must be allowed to be; but he immediately thought within himself, as soon as he saw the flourishing state of the wicked, that the curse of the Lord was in their houses, as in Proverbs 3:33; that they and all they had were under a curse, and that God find given them what they had with a curse, and had cursed all their blessings; which makes the difference between a good man and a wicked man; the one has what he has, his cottage and his small substance, with a blessing; the other his pleasant habitation, as the word (r) here used signifies, his stately palace, rich furniture, and large estates, with a curse; or he prognosticated, he foresaw, and could foretell, and that without pretending to an extraordinary spirit of prophecy, that in a short time the curse of God would light upon him, and upon his house, see Zechariah 5:3.
(r) "pulchritudini ejus", V. L. "commodam ejus", Cocceius; "amoenam", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. the foolish—the wicked. I have seen the sinner spread his "root" wide in prosperity, yet circumstances "suddenly" occurred which gave occasion for his once prosperous dwelling being "cursed" as desolate (Ps 37:35, 36; Jer 17:8).
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